Neonatal Nurse: High Demand And Highly Rewarding

Published: 24th August 2010
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Studies have repeatedly demonstrated the importance of prenatal and neonatal infant care in the development of healthy babies. In fact, neonatal nurse care is so important that the nursing industry has responded with a specialized nursing focus that concerns itself with the medical care provided to newborns.

Neonatal nurse professionals work with newborns that are born early or with serious illnesses, helping to stabilize the new infants and ensure that their lives get off to the healthiest start possible.

The challenges of a career as a neonatal nurse includes working closely with worried parents, neonatologists, and other medical specialties in order to provide ream oriented health care to this fragile patient population.

Neonatal nurse specialists can be found in a wide range of settings including neonatal intensive care units, research, education and in community clinics.

Of the three principal roles played by the neonatal nurse professional, only two remain in high demand. The first, level one care, entails caring for healthy newborns. This type of nursing is rapidly declining across the United States as more and more healthy babies now stay in the room with their mother almost from the moment they are born.

The other two neonatal nurse specialties work within an intensive care setting for the premature newborn or critically ill. The intensive care neonatal nurse has the most demanding job as they have to constantly monitor the sick babies and various kinds of equipment to stabilize and keep them alive.

Registered nurses with bachelor's degrees in nursing science, and who are certified in neonatal care, may serve as neonatal nurses. The next level of neonatal nursing care is that of the neonatal nurse practitioner, which requires a master's degree in nursing science to prepare the nurse to obtain a license as a Nurse Practitioner.

Depending upon the state in which the nurse lives, other state-sanctioned requirements may apply as well. As a result of the increased levels of education required for this position, the median annual salary for this branch of nursing can reach as high as eighty thousand dollars. In some countries, the salary can range as high as six figures.

With more than forty thousand premature and underweight babies being born each year in this country, the need for skilled neonatal nurse professionals has never been greater. Caring for these infants entails literally months of intense focus, which in turn requires large numbers of competent, qualified neonatal specialists.

Infant survivability has steadily risen over the last few decades due to the specialized teams of neonatal professionals, and the neonatal nurse. If that trend is to continue, however, the growing demand for new neonatal nurse professionals will have to be addressed.

Learn more about the neonatal nurse. Stop by Steven Swihart's site where you can find out all about being a nurse and what it can do for you.

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